Dressed in an all-white ensemble with contrasting fabrics, Zenin Tran says that her summer outfit inspiration comes from what fits her mood that day, rather than one specific aesthetic.
“If I’m feeling dark, or a little emo, I’m going to dress like that,” she says. “If I feel girly, I’m gonna jump right back to that. I don’t think anyone should have one distinct style that they stick with — [fashion’s] supposed to be fun. Do whatever you want.”
While Tran’s go-to look ranges, it is usually made with the help of her boyfriend, who has a brand called Recluse Gathering: “He pretty much makes all of my clothes — which is one of the best parts of having a designer boyfriend.” And although her style muses likewise range from Bella Hadid to micro-influencers on YouTube and Instagram, she makes sure her personality shines through with each outfit.
For others, summer style stems from their inner selves. If you stumble upon Siri Vert’s Instagram page, you’ll find her inspired by anime characters; she takes different looks from various characters based on what she’s feeling and creates her outfits based on that. This type of creativity isn’t new to Vert: When she was younger, her parents couldn’t afford name-brand jewelry or clothing brands, so she made her own clothes, jewelry, and shoes to mimic what she saw around her. “I do my best to [include those pieces] in my style today,” she says.
Vert and Tran aren’t the only innovative stylists when it comes to summer street style fashion in New York. In the midst of the heat wave, we spoke to 11 people in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park about what inspired their looks and how they dress to stay cool during the hottest of days. From discussing their outfits of the day to sharing their beat-the-heat summer essentials, one thing was a common theme: each person’s style was a reflection of who they are.
Scroll ahead to see how New York heat has nothing on its residents.
Name: Siri Vert
What I’m wearing: “Today’s really a chill day as far as outfits –– I’m not really wearing anything designer other than my belt, which is a B.B. Chains. I custom-make my own chains. [I] thrifted these jeans. I don’t remember where I got these shoes. And my friend made me this bag.”
My go-to summer essential: mini skirts and a [sports] bra.
Name: Azara “Star” Andujar
What I’m wearing: “A BAPE silkie I made into a top. My skirt and my shoes are Doll’s Kill.”
My go-to summer essential: a bralette or a bra. “Free them [t*tties].
Name: Madeleine Walker
What I’m wearing: “A Réalization Par dress and my shoes are from Puma. My jewelry is from a booth at the Melrose Trading Post.”
My go-to summer essential: denim shorts. “Anything to keep your legs from sweating.”
Name: Christina Walker
What I’m wearing: “Shein [shirt and skirt]. Glasses are from a comic book store in Roosevelt Field.”
My go-to summer essential: glow lotion from Bath & Body Works.
Name: Jasmine Fuego
What I’m Wearing: “The whole outfit is Amazon. The top is from Parade.”
My go-to summer essential: a bralette. “For people who have a bigger chest, Parade holds everything together.”
Name: Bruno Feliz
What I’m Wearing: “A thrifted [outfit]. Last week, I went to the [thrift store] bins and got this [gestures to pants]. They were super big, so I put this [elastic band] on it and fitted it to my body.”
My go-to summer essential: ChapStick. “Keep your lips beautiful. Take care of yourself.”
Name: Essence Johnson
What I’m wearing: “This shirt is thrifted. I don’t know where it’s from or which team this is, either. The shorts I got from Forever 21 a while ago. And Jordans.”
My go-to summer essential: a tote bag. “It’s easy to put a lot of stuff in there. The most I’ve carried in one time would have to be three.”
Name: Zenin Tran
What I’m wearing: I’m obsessed with [matching] this thrifted top with these pants because, even though the fabrics are really different, they mesh really well together. These beautiful parachute pants were actually made by my boyfriend. I’m wearing [Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance] 550s and then a vintage Coach bag.”
My go-to summer essential: mini skirts. “It’s like wearing a bikini — the shorter, the better.”
Name: Micah Legette
What I’m wearing: “My summer essential.”
My go-to summer essential: baggy jeans, chunky sneakers, accessories, baby tee, and a hat “that always has to be backwards.”
Name: Gabriella Dilmener
What I’m wearing: “A local designer. I picked this red number up at the [flea] market. Underneath, I’ve got an Alo jumpsuit, and I’m wearing some Dunks today as well.”
My go-to summer essential: as little as possible.
Name: Dylan Gadsden
Pronouns: He/Him, They/them
What I’m wearing: “A shirt that I made myself. I got this bag from a thrift store in the Bronx. I got the belt from a beauty supply [store,] and these jeans from a discount place for like $5. My shoes are Demonias.”
My go-to summer essential: a bag. “If I had to pick a dream bag, it would be the Balenciaga bag, with the rhinestones.”
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